Fringe review – Great British Mysteries (rating: 4/5)
Think QI meets the Fortean Times and a smattering of the X Files then you may grasp what this comedy twosome are trying to achieve.
Great British Mysteries runs the gamut from B movies to a search for the Loch Ness Monster and is written and performed by Rose Robinson and Joseph Hancock, both of whom should be a star in the ascendant.
The audience seated on benches – aach – I need a proper seat, are welcomed with a montage of said B movies accompanied by Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
We are introduced to Olive Bacon who proclaims: “I have an obsession with cold cases.”
Her nemesis and partner in crime is Dr Teddy Tyrell looking suitably Victorian with kerchief and velvet jacket.
They announce: “We shine a truth torch into the unknown.”
Crypto zoology is an obsession, as is Jack the Ripper, Elizabeth the Virgin Queen, Stonehenge “the most famous rockery in the world.”
Olive says proudly: “What we lack in research we make up for in speculations.”
They set out to find out how the pyramids of Egypt were built and the result is “mostly through slaves.”
Some of this is very funny. A couple on our bench laughed non-stop at every line, though not every line was funny. However, the characterisation was funny.
This is a mockumentary – a pretend TV series and it’s totally energetic.
When the intrepid duo move on to Loch Ness “the most successful pond in the world” – the premise is good. However, the joke is played out for too long – actually, for half the show.
The writing is pretty good. When Olive and Dr Teddy part ways he comes back with: “I am like a single stick of kit kat without you and I’m not ready to take a break.”
The show finishes with Catatonia Mulder and Scully, and thankfully I got off the bench.
Great British Mysteries The Cellar Pleasance Courtyard daily 3.30pm